iSub/SoundSticks Year: 2000 Gold Award Client: Apple Design: Harman Kardon and Apple $169.95 Harman Kardon teamed up with Apple to manufacture the iSub/SoundSticks. Widely admired for a stunning aesthetic, the speakers and subwoofer feature a simple, translucent design. The product is still available today. OrangeX OJex Manual Juicer Year: 2000 Gold Award Client: OrangeX Design: Smart Design $129.99 Made from cast iron, the Ojex juicer inverted the traditional crank mechanism to reduce size. It boosted the small Venezuelan company's revenue from $1.5 million in 1999 to more than $2 million in 2001. In 2005 the company was bought by Focus Products Group, which continues to distribute the juicer as the Olympus Manual Citrus Juicer. Swiffer Year: 2000 Silver Award Client: Procter & Gamble Design: Joss $13.99 Procter & Gamble's fastest-selling product, Swiffer uses throwaway cloths and lightweight materials to make an alternative to traditional mops or brooms. Swiffer raised the company's profits by 5% the year it was released. Since then the line has been expanded to Swiffer WetJet, Duster, and Vacuum and remains one of P&G's best-selling products. 50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY Rubbermaid Paint Buddy Year: 2005 Bronze Award Client: Rubbermaid Design: Beyond Design, Shur-Line $9.99 These paint applicators from Newell Rubbermaid represent a new way of thinking about painting. Leftover paint from a project is stored inside a sealed container, which has an attached roller applicator. Whenever a touch-up is needed, simply pull the Paint Buddy from storage and roll the stored paint on the wall. 1 2 3 4
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY IntelliMouse Explorer Year: 2000 Silver Award Client: Microsoft Design: Surface Strategy, Microsoft $39.95 The first of its kind, Microsoft’s IntelliMouse Explorer is an optical tracking mouse that performs better than traditional devices with roller-ball mechanisms. It quickly became the world's best-selling mouse. Since then, updated versions of the mouse have been released. Xootr Scooter Year: 2000 Silver Award Client: Nova Cruz Products Design: Lunar Design, Nova Cruz From $199 The Xootr scooter folds down in 10 seconds. Its light weight and portability made it a hit in urban areas and helped stoke the scooter fad. In 2003, Nova Cruz was sold and renamed Xootr, which continues to manufacture the product today. Bodum Santos Year: 2001 Gold Award Client: Bodum Design: Bodum Design Group $79.95 Bodum's Santos coffee maker is a time-controlled vacuum coffee brewer. The glass carafe lends a sophisticated look, while the machine brews coffee quickly and with less sediment than others. For a time, Starbucks sold the brewer as Utopia, and it's still available. Nike PSA Play 120 Year: 2001 Gold Award Client: Nike Design: Rio Audio, Nike Discontinued Nike created a digital audio player that can be attached to an athlete's arm or worn around the hip. It was light, comfortable, and easy to control while running or playing sports. While Nike is still in the music-and-sport business, it has dropped the original. 5 6 7 8
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY UNO Waffle Makers Year: 2001 Silver Award Client: Williams-Sonoma Design: VillaWare $59.95 The high-end waffle maker continues to win over homebodies with its chic design and portability. Today the high-end waffle maker is also available in different shapes, such as a heart, and it is still sold through Williams-Sonoma stores. Storex 3-Ring Binder Year: 2001 Bronze Award Client: Storex Industries Design: Gad Shaanan Design $8.99 These binders' eye-popping colors and semi-transclucent covers appeal to both executives and teenagers. They are still sold in major office-supply stores such as OfficeMax. Polaroid I-zone Instant Pocket Camera Year: 2001 Bronze Award Client: Polaroid Design: IDEO and Polaroid Discontinued This instant Polaroid camera became a hit with its mini-sticker photographs. But as digital photography became dominant, Polaroid stopped manufacturing instant-film products in 2008 iPod Year: 2002 Gold Award Client: Apple Design: Apple $249 With its sleek design, intuitive menu system, and trusty operating system, the iPod has become the poster product for intelligent design. The product turned Apple into more than a computer company. But lately iPod sales have begun dropping—everyone, it seems, already has one. 9 10 11 12
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY Mac Year: 2002 Gold Award Client: Apple Design: Apple $1,199-$2,199 Apple set a new design standard with this all-in-one desktop computer. The LCD flat-panel display and spherical computer base connect via a stainless steel neck, which doubles as a carrying handle and monitor tilt. Though redesigned, the iMac is still one of the sleekest computers on the market today. Kobe Two Year: 2002 Silver Award Client: Adidas Design: Adidas Discontinued Kobe Twos were the Air Jordans of the 2000s. The basketball shoes had a hood-covered lace area, a herringbone-patterned outsole for extra stability, and an adjustable midfoot stability and internal bootie provided unheard of support. The shoes' reign ended when NBA star Kobe Bryant jumped to Nike Venus Razor Year: 2002 Bronze Award Client: Gillette Design: Gillette $13.99 Before Procter & Gamble acquired Gillette in 2005, the razor company had scored with the Venus refillable razor for women. The design features an oval cartridge and an organizer that stores the waterproof refill blades. Today, it's the No. 1 female shaver. PalmPeeler Year: 2007 Gold Award Client: Chef'n Design: Chef'n $6.99 The PalmPeeler is a great example of how design thinking can revive a stale product. Chef'n changed the typical peeler from a knife-like handled device into a palm-fitting, ergonomic square that slides on the finger like a ring. It's safer and far more comfortable and efficient than traditional peelers. They are still widely available. 13 14 15 16
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY Palm Zire Handheld Computer Year: 2003 Gold Award Client: Palm Design: NewDealDesign, Palm Discontinued The Palm Zire offered a thin PDA that incorporated a long-lasting power source and a unique flip lid. Palm discontinued the Zire series when PDAs began to be replaced by smartphones. 17 18 19 20 Samsung LT17E3 17-inch LCD TV Year: 2003 Gold Award Client: Samsung Electronics Design: Samsung Electronics Discontinued Samsung designers gave the back of this television as much thought as the front. They did away with office-style knobs or buttons and concealed the set's controls and cord. The finished product looked more like a traditional television than popular sets at the time, which resembled computer monitors. The TV has since been replaced by more advanced models. Michael Graves Design Cross-Cut Paper Shredder Year: 2003 Silver Award Client: Target Design: Michael Graves & Associates Discontinued This product neatly combined a paper shredder, pencil sharpener, and a trash can. Target eventually replaced the design with newer items, but this product, designed by famed architect Michael Graves, showed the benefit of applying design thinking to something as ordinary as office supplies. Evenflo Triumph Convertible Car Seat Year: 2003 Silver Award Client: Evenflo Design: IDEO and Evenflo Discontinued The five different positions and molded shoulder belt on this child's car seat ensured safety and comfort. In 2007, the product was recalled due to a faulty handle, but its innovative functionality sparked a new era in car seat design. Updated Triumphs, now tagged as Advance, sell today.
COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 21 22 23 24 Airfoil Pro Triathlon Bicycle Year: 2004 Gold Award Client: Kestrel Bicycle Designer: IDE $2,599 Cutting-edge aerodynamics and new manufacturing techniques made this bike a performance machine. The design also allowed Kestrel to bring the bike to market quicker and at about half the cost. The rear of the bike was designed to function as a sail and propel the rider forward. Kestrel still sells the bike today. Infinity Climber Year: 2004 Gold Award Client: Little Tikes Design: Little Tikes $2,951 Unlike much conventional playground equipment, the Infinity Climber combines shapes and structural design to develop children's motor skills. Today, the climber is still a major part of Little Tikes' product offerings. Aliph Jawbone Year: 2004 Silver Award Client: Aliph Design: Fuseproject $129 Setting a new standard for headsets, the Aliph Jawbone uses "active noise suppression" to allow users to talk, hear, and be heard in loud environments. A sensor rests against the face and detects when the mouth is moving, which activates the noise suppression. The Jawbone is still a hit—it's the top-selling Bluetooth accessory on the market. Ogio Stinger Year: 2004 Silver Award Client: Ogio International Design: Ogio International, AK Designs, Redbird Design Studio Discontinued Ogio invented several technologies for its Stinger golf bag: There was a handle just for pulling it out of the car, an extender arm that locked to golf carts, and a unique, zipperless ball bag. It was eventually supplanted by newer Ogio product lines, but golfers still search for this model all over the Internet.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 25 26 27 28 BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Active Year: 2004 Bronze Award Client: BabyBjörn Design: ErgonomiDesignGruppen and BabyBjörn $129.95 An alternative to strollers, the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier has adjustable shoulder straps to provide back support for parents who prefer to tote their little ones. Today, an updated version of the BabyCarrier Active is still sold. Motorola Razr V3 Year: 2005 Gold Award Design: Motorola Design: Motorola Discontinued Initially marketed as a fashion mobile-phone, the Razr V3 appealed to both tech enthusiasts and trendsetters. By the end of 2008, Motorola had sold more than 110 million units. The company could never duplicate the success of the Razr, but it's still reaping the benefits of the older design: slightly updated versions of the V3 are sold widely. Platinum II Year: 2005 Gold Award Client: NetGear Designers : NewDealDesign and NetGear Discontinued This sleek modem represented a new generation of modems and networking gear. Rather than ugly black boxes with several blinking lights and protruding antennas, NetGear designers housed the components in a sleek white case. The Platinum II has been replaced by updated models, but its influence is obvious. Most modems on the market mimic its design. Mac Mini Year: 2005 Gold Award Client: Apple Design: Apple $599-$799 The Mac Mini took the software and computing power of its bigger brethren and shrunk it into a shell the size of two stacked CD jewel cases. Its lack of monitor, keyboard, and mouse kept costs low and allowed customers to choose whatever models they liked. The Mini is still the cheapest Mac on the market.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 29 30 31 32 iRobot Roomba Year: 2005 Bronze Award Client: iRobot Design: Herbst LaZar Bell $129-$549 The Roomba turned vacuuming from a manual chore to a background process. The iRobot device continually makes it way around a room to vacuum, leaving homeowners free to do other things. To date, iRobot had sold more than 2.5 million Roombas and expanded the line to models that clean swimming pools, sweep shop floors, and mop kitchens. LeapFrog LeapPad Family Year: 2005 Bronze Award Client: LeapFrog Design: Whipsaw Discontinued These interactive learning devices used a cartridge and interactive screen to teach children vocabulary, math, science, and social studies. Three years in the making, the LeapPad became the flagship product for LeapFrog and made it one of the fastest-growing toy companies. In 2008, Leapfrog supplanted the LeapPad with the more advanced Tag reading system. LG AN110 Projector Year: 2006 Gold Award Client: LG Electronics Design: LG Electronics Discontinued This model marked the first time a high-def projector was able to fit in a shallow enough box (3.5 inches deep) to be wall mounted. Before it, projectors were chunky, industrial looking machines mounted on ceilings. The AN110 also required only three screws to install and had a multifunctional remote and removable faceplate that came in several colors. LG now has newer models. Kodak Easyshare V570 Year: 2006 Gold Award Client: Kodak Design: Bluemap Design, Eastman Kodak Discontinued Kodak's Easyshare V570 was the first dual-lens digital camera. Each lens had its own sensor and viewing range, which combined to give it a high megapixel count. The sophisticated design didn't draw attention to the lenses, which were etched in stainless steel. A hit, the camera was taken off the market as Kodak developed more advanced technology.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 33 34 35 36 Talking Tactile Tablet Year: 2006 Gold Award Client: Touch Graphics Design: Touch Graphics $699 The Talking Tactile Tablet allows visually impaired readers to have access to graphic imagery through a touch surface that creates 3D overlays and audio. The device is still used throughout the world, including by the Royal National College for the Blind in Britain. Shure E4 Sound Isolation Earphones Year: 2006 Silver Award Client: Shure Design: Essential Design and Shure Discontinued The Shure E4 earphones combined breakthroughs in sound isolation and portable media. The simple cylindrical form and small size gave the listener top-notch sound. The earphones won several industry accolades; updated models have been released. Cupsicle Year: 2006 Bronze Award Client: Munchkin Design: Munchkin $19.99 This spill-proof, insulated drinking cup helps children learn to use a straw without making a mess. Its easy-to-grip handles, retractable straw, and ice "crystals" that keep contents cold make it a popular choice for parents. It's still widely available today. One Touch Can Opener Year: 2007 Gold Award Client: One Touch Systems Design: Daka Development $19.99 This was the world's first cordless hand-free can opener. It "walks around" the can, stopping automatically when the can is open. A magnet on the device then removes the lid, which prevents users from cutting themselves on sharp metal. As of 2008 the company had sold more than 8 million openers. leased.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 37 38 39 40 Lightair Ionflow 50 Year: 2007 Gold Award Client: LightAir Design: LightAir $350-$495 The Lightair Ionflow is a portable air purifier that eliminates 99.94% of airborne pollutants. The cylindrical shape maximizes surface area to trap unwanted particles. Its LED light also gives it a clean design. Today, it's sold in three configurations: There's a floor model, a table model, and one that's made to hang from a wall or ceiling. H-Racer and Hydrogen Station Set Year: 2007 Silver Award Client: Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Design: Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies $99.99 More than a toy car, the H-racer provides a model for environmentally sustainable, energy-independent transportation. The set is meant to bring the concept of practical clean energy to a wide audience. Sales have quadrupled since the toy went on sale in 2006. SmartMoney Year: 2007 Bronze Award Client: Citicorp Credit Services Design: Ziba Design Free SmartMoney is an RFID credit/debit payment device that speeds up transactions under $25. Designed like a money clip, SmartMoney is light and portable. Citibank ( C ) has issued 2.5 million of the fobs since 2006, and the easy payment system is now a feature at several major financial institutions. Autoseal Travel Mug West Loop Year: 2007 Bronze Award Client: Contigo Design: Ignite USA, Contigo $19.99 This award-winner is a double-walled, stainless steel, vacuum-insulated mug, offering heat retention and a spill-proof design for those on the go. With a button that opens and closes the mug, drinkers can hold it with one hand without spilling. It's often on back order today.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 41 42 43 44 iPhone Year: 2008 Gold Award, Best in Show Client: Apple Design: Apple $99-$199 (excluding phone plan) The iPhone combines a mobile phone, an iPod, and a mobile Web browser. Its revolutionary 3.5-inch touchscreen allows users to control the smartphone without buttons. Apple sold 5.2 million iPhones in the company's fiscal third quarter alone, more than seven times the number sold a year earlier. One Laptop Per Child XO Year: 2008 Gold Award Client: One Laptop Per Child Design: Fuseproject $199 Started by Nicholas Negroponte at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this nonprofit project is dedicated to producing a child-friendly computer for underdeveloped countries. The laptop is portable, energy efficient, and durable. To date, the company has distributed 1.5 million laptops in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. . Sony Portable Reader System 505 Year: 2008 Gold Award Client: Sony Design: Sony Creative Center $299.99 The Sony PRS-505 e-book reader is compact and has almost limitless memory for storing literature. The svelte body design and menu controls mimic a regular book. Today, Sony's reader is locked in a battle with Amazon's Kindle 2 reader. XBOX 360 Wireless Racing Wheel Year: 2008 Silver Award Client: Microsoft Design: Teague, Microsoft $99.99 The Wireless Racing Wheel brings a sense of real world racing to gaming. The console features rumble packs, which mimic ground vibrations, and ergonomics that resemble an actual steering wheel. It's still the choice for Xbox owners who love racing games and feel a traditional controller isn't close enough to the real thing.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 45 46 47 48 Care Electronics for Senior Citizens Year: 2008 Bronze Award Client: Doro Design: Ergonomidesign $179.99 each This series of niche products was designed for senior citizens with impaired hearing, vision, mobility, or cognition. The line includes a set of land and cellular phones that featured amplified sound, easy-to-press buttons, and a large screen for reading. Sales for the Lund (Sweden) telecom company are on the rise. Better Place Charge Spot Year: 2009 Gold Award Client: Better Place Design: Better Place, NewDealDesign Better Place aims to reduce global dependency on petroleum. The Charge Spot brings the electric car closer to practicality. This dual-outlet compact charging station connects to the car and charges it with power from the electrical grid. The earth-friendly electric charging lots were unveiled in Israel in 2008. Project Masiluleke Year: 2009 Gold Award Client: Project Masiluleke Design: Project Masiluleke, frog design The Project Masiluleke Home HIV Test Kit was designed to make HIV testing in South Africa a comfortable and familiar process. It combines mobile support with off-the-shelf, saliva-based diagnostics. The test, with copy written in both English and Zulu, is available free of charge and is intended for private use in the home and outside of the traditional health-care infrastructure. Havaianas Year: 2009 Gold Award Client: Havaianas Design: Havaianas $18-$35 Though it's been around since 1962, Havaianas first gained world recognition in 1998, when its World Cup edition sandles caught fire. Since then the popular shoes have become popular among celebrities and fashionistas, which has helped the brand take off. It has even had its own Fashion Week showcases.
50 COOL PRODUCTS IN THE 21 st CENTURY 49 50 Domino Sliding USB Flash Drive Year: 2009 Silver Award Client: iRiver Designer: iRiver Design Group $21-$34, depending on storage A flash-memory stick and fashionable accessory combined, the Domino is one of the smallest of data-storage devices around. It comes in nine colors and can cram so much data into such a tiny stick by employing a sliding USB connector. Dell Precision Year: 2009 Silver Award Client: Dell Design: Dell $999-$1,800 Addressing the growing demands of creative professionals, Dell Precision mobile workstations are engineered for intense speed and graphics. This line of high-perfomance laptops contains both Dell's lightest and most powerful workstations.